Halloween has become a massively commercialized celebration all over the world, creating massive revenue for each country, with parties getting more and more extravagant each year.
But where exactly do the origins of Halloween come from?
It can easily be mistaken that Halloween is just fun and games and opportunity to wear a costume and get some free sweets! Halloween is in fact a religious celebration observed by western Christians. It’s a three day observance to remembering the dead, saints, martyrs and the faithful departed.
Traditionally the religious practice involves church services and lighting candles on the graves of those who have passed.
Halloween is also said to have pagan roots from the Gaelic festival “samhain”, meaning “summers end”. Halloween also has strong links to Pomona who is the Goddess of fruits and seed. And to the festival of the dead known as Parentalia.
The practice of trick or treating is where children and teenagers wear costumes and knock on the doors of strangers to either trick them or receive a treat from them. People often fill their cupboards with chocolates and sweets in preparation for Halloween and the trick or treaters.
From an Islamic perspective, we have been told that we have two celebrations Eid Ul Fitr and and Eid Ul Adha. Many of the Halloween traditions come from Christian or even pagan practices. Partaking in their traditions is a form of shirk.
As a child on Halloween, I was allowed to dress up but my parents didn’t approve of trick or treating. Firstly it’s like begging and secondly you really don’t know whose door you could be knocking on, and it’s not safe in this day and age.
When I reverted 7 years ago, although I used to celebrate Halloween, it was not something I missed. If anything I needed to find ways to avoid it, is that it’s so commercialized everywhere!
My husband and I both agreed that should we get anyone knocking at the door trick or treating we would just ignore it. This is something that we have continued to do through out the years.
Funnily enough many of my non-Muslim friends and neighbors don’t answer the door.
Surround yourself with your fellow Muslims to help boost your imaan, increase your reward.
How to Protect our Children
As time has gone on and I have had two children of my own, I can see just how commercialized Halloween has become. Every advert on TV, posters on streets, regular food products we buy from the shop even have their labels changed this time of year, people decorate their houses.
All of this impacts our children; they absorb it all like little sponges. As Muslim parents, we have a duty to educate them and explain to them why as Muslims we don’t celebrate Halloween.
I think it’s important to protect our traditions for our children by making each Eid a special fun celebration. Develop new traditions as a family. You can take the children out to watch a film at the cinema, or to visit elderly family members and take home cooked food for them so they know they aren’t alone.
Younger children might enjoy baking biscuits and wrapping them up for neighbors. This allows us to develop a new tradition as family whilst spreading the word of Islam.
I can appreciate that it is probably easier to keep your children away from Halloween. It’s important to instill right and wrong and educating our children about Islam and our practices from a young age.
Teenagers face the problem peer pressure. If you’re a parent of a teenager, perhaps discuss hosting a party for them at your home. Discuss it and put on some food and films for the kids in a safe and Islamic environment.
Just remember that if you’re struggling at this time of year, Allah is with you always and through every hardship comes ease. Let’s keep all the Muslim youth in our du’as that Allah guides them and keeps them on the Straight Path.
(From Reading Islam’s archive.)